Teacher Feature: Tales from Outside the Classroom

Well, hello there.
I'm so excited that I'm the featured teacher today on TBA.  I started blog stalking in December after I found tons of wonderful blogs through Pinterest.  TBA was one of the first sites I found that I loved.  I can't believe that 8 months later, I have the opportunity to be on TBA myself.  I'm kind of ecstatic!  
I have had "different" experiences in my teaching career.  I spent my first 3 years as a reading teacher for struggling students K-5.  Those first 3 years taught me so much!  I then spent one year as a Differentiated Instruction coach.  Then, most recently, I spent two years as a Team Leader.  My role was a dual coaching and administration role.  Because of the complications of evaluating people you're coaching, they have changed my position for the upcoming year and I'll be strictly coaching.  I think my experiences in so many classrooms have let me see tremendous teaching in action, and it's given me the opportunity to try some things out in a variety of settings.

One constant in my classroom has always been the use of games.  I use games to review and practice skills with students.  I think games are engaging for students and allow you to work with a group while students are getting meaningful practice.  When I was a reading teacher, I constantly used games to practice the phonics skills the students were currently working on.  I had a closet full of games that were organized by phonics skill.  Many of the games I created myself.  I loved using the game cards from Kelly's Kindergarten.  After a couple years, I started creating my own.  I still encourage the teachers in my building to use games to review math skills and as independent practice during their reading block.  
Here are some games that you can use in your classroom.  These work well with particular phonics skills or math facts.

4 in a Row
You play the game just like Connect 4 using counters.  Students read the word or say the fact as they place their counter on the space.  These images are png files so you can copy and paste it in a document to use it yourself.
This version practices reading CVC nonsense words.

This version is blank.  You can insert a text box into the circle to place whatever skill you'd like your students to practice.  Or, you can download a pdf version here.

I think everyone knows BANG!  But, just in case, I'll explain the rules.  The cards go into a container. A student draws a card, and reads the word (or the fact), and keeps the card.  Then it's player 2's turn.  When someone draws a BANG! card, all of their cards go back into the container.  Play continues until time runs out.
Here's a blank BANG! set you can copy and paste as a png so you can insert it as a picture into your program.  Then insert text boxes to add your words.  Or, here is a pdf version

Board Games
This is a blank game board template.  Students roll a dice to move a certain number of spaces.  You can use task cards, read the room cards, or other cards you already have created.  Or, you can create your own game cards.  Again, these are png files so you can save the image and insert a text box to make the game meet your needs.  Or, you can download a pdf here.

I hope I've given you a few different quick and easy resources you can use for games in your classroom.  Thanks for having me TBA!
Come on over and check out some more ideas!

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